Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Boris Johnson rubbishes claims he is planning to QUIT as PM in six months

Boris Johnson insisted he was fighting fit today - after Dominic Cummings' father-in-law suggested he was planning to quit after struggling to recover from coronavirus. 

Downing Street blasted as 'total nonsense' a suggestion that Mr Johnson could hand over power in six months time, made by Sir Humphry Wakefield.

He is said to have told a holidaymaker who visited his castle in Northumberland that the Prime Minister is still suffering longer-term ill effects of coronavirus and could resign. 

But speaking on a visit to Appledore shipyard in Devon today, Mr Johnson was asked about the claim, saying: 'It's absolute nonsense. 

'I am feeling, if anything, far better as I've lost some weight.'

Baronet Sir Humphry, 84, a former soldier and interior designer whose journalist daughter Mary is married to top aide Mr Cummings, likened the Prime Minister to a horse that is made to work while injured, leaving it permanently lame, according to the Times.

'If you put a horse back to work when it's injured it will never recover,' it reported him as saying. 

Mr Johnson spent more than a week in hospital with coronavirus in early April, including a stint in intensive care.

And many of those who have suffered report still suffering the lingering effects of its attack on their systems months after leaving hospital or their home sick bed. 

His illness at the end of March sent shockwaves through Westminster as he became the first major world leader affected.

He spent three nights in intensive care amid a week in London's St Thomas's Hospital receiving oxygen treatment and Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, took temporary charge, as a worried nation waits for news. 

Prayers and well wishes were offered from across the globe, with NHS nurses even praying for his recovery.

Four weeksd previously he wads still shaking hands at official engagements and ahead of interviews with the likes of Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, and insisting it was fine as long as you washed your hands afterwards.  
After being discharged from hospital at the end of April he spent a couple of weeks with Carrie Symonds recuperating at his country retreat, Chequers, before returning to Downing Street to take charge again. 

Since his return he has shown an increased interest in his own fitness and that of the nation. 

Last month he revealed he had lost more than a stone in weight since his coronavirus scare as he urged Britis to join him in getting fit this summer to ward off the worst of the disease.

Obesity has been flagged as a major risk factor for coronavirus, with researchers finding that obese people have a 37 per cent higher risk of dying from it. One in four Britons is obese.

The Prime Minister urged podgy Brits to shed the pounds. Speaking on a visit to a London health centre today to encourage uptake of the winter flu jab the PM, who has been photographed running since his return to Downing Street, told reporters:  'I'm on the way, I've lost about a stone and a bit. Primarily by eating less, but also by a lot of exercise.'

At ther same time he appeared to abandon long-held libertarian instincts with support for moves to ban junk food adverts from TV before the 9pm watershed and outlaw online ads altogether. 

Retail and advertising executives have been told the plans will include a ban on TV ads for junk food such as burgers and chocolate before 9pm. A ban on online adverts is also expected, as are restrictions on buy-one-get-one-free supermarket deals. 

It came just days ahead of the start of Chancellor Rishi Sunak's 'eat out to help out' plan for diners to enjoy 50 per cent discount at restaurants and pubs to help revive the flagging hospitality sector.

Today's row It is not the first time Sir Humphry, who owns Chillingham Castle near Bamburgh, has found himself in the political spotlight

In February he made an astonishing intervention in the Home Office bullying row involving Priti Patel.

The aristocrat, a friend of Prince Philip, accused mandarins who have squared up to the Home Secretary of acting to protect their 'relaxed life'.

The aristocratic interior designer and antiques expert, used a letter sent from the  13th century fortress to attack 'relaxed disciplines' in offices whose fans paint any attempt at changing the environment as bullying.

Two senior civil servants were forced out of the Home Office after clashing with Ms Patel, 47, and an internal report into the affair has so far not been released.

In a missive to the Times from his home the baronet said: 'I have worked in many long established offices around the world. Almost invariably, relaxed disciplines have become the norm. 

'I have found it near impossible to change old habits without appearing to ''bully''.

'Throwing chilling water on attempted inspiration is a special skill of department leaders whose relaxed life is under threat.'

Sir Humphry is the father of Mr Cummings' wife, the journalist Mary Wakefield. The couple married in 2011 and have one child together.


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